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If you are hiring a moving company you have probably been asked if you would like to purchase extra coverage for your belongings.  Coverage, in moving, equates to a dollar value per pound that you will receive towards the replacement or repair of your goods should any damage occur.  Lets take a look at an example:

Your movers damage a 100 pound dresser.  If you did not purchase extra coverage, you would fall into the basic coverage amount of $.60/lb per article.  So you would receive up to $60 for the damaged piece towards the repair or replacement of it.

Moving applies unnecessary stress and pressure on your belongings which can cause certain household items to wind up in a less than favorable condition at your destination.  This is why movers will NOT provide coverage to all of your household items. 

Because most moving companies have the stigma of being dishonest, consumers often perceive this lack of accountability as being unfair.  That is not the case.  While almost all household goods - if packed and wrapped properly - should arrive in the exact same condition at your destination, you probably aren't willing to pay the price for that luxury.  Here are a list of items that your mover won't cover and why:

  1. Particle Board or Flat Packed Furniture | Ikea and other Ready-to-Assemble furniture just does not move well.  The structural integrity of every "Ikea" style piece of furniture degrades after each re-assembly.  The parts can also be extremely low quality making them vulnerable to damage.
  2. The Internal Components of Electronic Devices | No matter how well the outer casing of your electronic device is wrapped and protected, internal components are not something that you can actually protect or examine before moving.  Therefore, if an electronic device is not functioning after a move, it is next to impossible to isolate the cause.
  3. Glass/Mirrors/Artwork | Glass, Mirrors and Artwork that are not properly wrapped and package will not be covered by your mover.  Some artwork, glass and mirrors may require crating to guarantee a safe and damage free move.  Marble, Granite, Porcelain and Ceramic will always require some kind of crating to be covered by your mover.  Most artwork, glass and mirrors can be covered by having your moving company pack and unpack them using a mirror carton and protective layers of newsprint, foam or bubble.
  4. Contents of Owner Packed Boxes | I think this condition is least accepted by consumers but moving companies cannot be responsible for things that aren't packed by them.  Should negligence occur coverage should always apply but if something in a box were to break, it would be difficult to place blame on a mover, unless proof of negligence was obvious.
  5. Live Plants | Living plants require a series of preparatory steps to be safely moved.  It is a more technical process than most would imagine.  Living plants are also really hard to pack and load into trucks which also make them vulnerable to damage from surrounding items in the truck.  Weather can also play a role and all of these things can apply stress to your plants.

If you are moving soon, talk to your mover about their coverage program and their coverage exclusions.  A great idea for most of the excluded items is to move them yourself.  If your budget allows, get your mover to pack everything in appropriate boxes using the right techniques and you will find their will be little to no damage on your move.

The greatest lesson is that a $16 mirror carton could save hundreds of dollars in artwork.  Don't be afraid of investing in your move.  Long term thinking goes a long way!

Happy Moving.